All the Way

All the Way

Jordin Tootoo

Jordin Tootoo

It seemed as though nothing could stop Jordin Tootoo on the ice. The captain of Canada's Under-18, a fan favourite on the World Junior squad, and a WHL top prospect who could intimidate both goalies and enforcers, he was always a leader. And when Tootoo was drafted by Nashville in 2000 and made the Predators out of camp in 2003, he became a leader in another way: the first player of Inuk descent to suit up in the NHL.The stress of competition in the world's top hockey league, the travel, the media, the homesickness—and the added pressure to hold one's head high as a role model not only for the young people of his hometown of Rankin Inlet but for the culture that had given him the strength and the opportunities to succeed—would have been more than enough to challenge any rookie. But Tootoo faced something far more difficult: the loss of his brother in the year between his draft and his first shift for the Predators. Though he played through it, the tragedy took...
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